February 6, 2012

Staging: Good Smells, Bad Smells

How does your home smell? It might be worth an extra sniff because buyers certainly will take notice. Sensory research shows that the smell of a home can affect a person’s mood, according to Terry Molnar, executive director of The Sense of Smell Institute, a New York–based organization that focuses on the importance of smell to human psychology, behavior, and quality of life. A light floral fragrance can put people in a more pleasant mood, while citrus scents, such as lemon and grapefruit, tend to have an energizing effect, he says. “Vanilla is one scent that’s universal around the globe,” […]
January 30, 2012

9 Unexpected Energy (and Money) Savers

Here are a few surprising and simple ways to cut your energy bill this season. Put lamps in the corners: Did you know you can switch to a lower wattage bulb in a lamp or lower its dimmer switch and not lose a noticeable amount of light? It’s all about placement. When a lamp is placed in a corner, the light reflects off the adjoining walls, which makes the room lighter and brighter. Switch to a laptop: If you’re reading this article on a laptop, you’re using 1/3 less energy than if you’re reading this on a desktop. Choose an […]
January 23, 2012

6 Worth-the-Price Fix-Ups

Simple and affordable do-it-yourself projects can greatly increase a home’s resale value, according to HomeGain’s annual home improvement and staging survey. The marketing company surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals to discover which DIY home improvement projects give sellers the biggest return for their buck. Here are six projects under $1,000 (amounts are estimated) that made the list. Cleaning and decluttering. Remove any personal items, unclutter countertops, organize closets and shelves, and make the home sparkling clean. $290 Cost $1,990 Return Brightening. Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures, and remove anything that blocks light […]
January 16, 2012

Making the Decision to Downsize

As we proceed through our life we are often striving for ‘bigger and better’ things: whether that is a bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger income, a bigger family… we always seem to have the need or desire to expand on the type or number of possessions we currently have. However, the flip side of this is ‘downsizing’. The most obvious and common ‘downsize’ people make is to downsize their property. There are many reasons why people to choose to downsize their property. One of the most common reasons people downsize their property is financial. If you own, for […]
January 9, 2012

3 Tips for Investing in Real Estate

Choosing the right investment property, especially for a newbie investor, can sometimes seem to be a daunting task. But choosing the right investment property can also be a challenge for seasoned investors. There are three things I look for when choosing an investment property: long term growth potential, tenant “attractability”, and cost of ownership. Long-Term Growth Potential Most investors are taught that the cheaper the property, the better. This is only partially true. Your main focus for every long-term rental property should be appreciation, or the amount the property will increase over time. Appreciation is much more important than purchase […]
January 3, 2012

5 Popular Home Features (You Might Not Have Thought Of)

Whether you are shopping for a new home or want to update your current home here are 5 features which are among the most popular with home buyers. Even if one does not appeal to you it’s smart to keep in mind when considering your home’s future resale value. Energy Efficiency Now more than ever, we are a population of energy conscious consumers. Today’s home buyers are often in search of sustainable design features that conserve energy. From construction details like solar panels and reclaimed building materials to energy saving appliances, doors, and windows, the trend is here to stay. […]
December 19, 2011

Easy Fixes for 4 Common Household Problems

MAY 2010 | BY WENDY COLE Problems like squeaky stairs and oil stains on the garage floor can be quick turnoffs to buyers. But these common household troubles need not hold your listing back—particularly if they’re relatively easy for a do-it-yourselfer to fix. Lynda Lyday—carpenter, professional contractor, and a featured expert on the DIY cable network—provides dozens of simple fixes for common household problems in The Homeowner’s Manual (Que Publishing, 2006). While it’s always best to bring in an expert to correct big problems, Lyday provides these tips for capable home owners who want to try their own hand at […]
December 12, 2011

10 Questions to Ask your Listing Agent

With so many real estate agents competing for your business it can be tough to decide who to trust with your listing. Use this list of questions when interviewing potential agents to help you find someone you can count on to be putting up a “Sold” sign soon. 1. How long have you been selling real estate in this area? The answer should give you some insight as to their experience level. 2. How many homes did you sell last year? This is another indicator of their level of expertise and familiarity with the market, as well as their level […]
December 5, 2011

5 Time Saving Tips for Busy Buyers

Driving all over town to look at one dead end house after another can be just plain tiresome. No matter how wonderful your real estate agent is, the prospective buyer is in the driver’s seat and it is their responsibility to communicate their wishes in order to make effective use of everyone’s time. Save time and enjoy the “thrill of the hunt” with these 5 suggestions: 1. Make a checklist Before beginning your search for the perfect house, create a comprehensive checklist of all of the characteristics you are looking for. The idea is to come up with a personalized […]
November 28, 2011

Advice for First Time Buyers

First time home buyers have a lot to learn as they go through the experience of purchasing their first home. If you are a first time buyer, finding the right realtor – one who specializes in helping first time home buyers – will make all the difference in the world. The right realtor will help you find the right home, and help you negotiate the right price. If you are an inexperienced real estate investor, make sure to get some experience on your side. Your newly licensed cousin may be willing to work hard for you, and need the business, […]